Santa Barbara City Council Approves ARPA Funds to Offset COVID-19 Financial Impacts

Source: City of Santa Barbara

The City Council approved the second allocation of federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to support projects that offset negative financial impacts of COVID-19, provide services to disproportionately impacted communities, address public health, support economic recovery and enhance downtown.

The City was allocated $21.8 million of direct rescue funds spread over two years to continue to provide services to the public and address additional costs directly related to COVID-19. In May 2021, the City Council approved the first tranche of $10.9 million, which went to the General Fund to partially offset lost tax and departmental revenues in order to continue to provide essential services to the public.

On Tuesday, Council approved distribution of the second $10.9 million tranche, which is scheduled to be received in May 2022. The Council approved the appropriation of $1,047,112 into the General Fund and $1,483,189 into the Downtown Parking Fund to replace a portion of the revenue that was lost directly related to the impacts of COVID-19.

The action also approved the appropriation of $8,388,461 to offset additional costs and address other COVID-19 impacts including State Street cleaning and lighting; the State Street Master Plan; economic development initiatives; rental housing outreach; Parks and Recreation and Public Works repair and maintenance projects; library digital materials, initial funding for a garage for mobile customer service delivery vehicles, support for reopening the library 7 days a week; support for hiring and retention; and pandemic pay for employees who worked throughout the pandemic.

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